HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — As our region begins reopening, coronavirus testing remains crucial to updating the number of infections.
That’s especially true following massive protests and more people looking to return to work.
On a basketball court in Hoboken, New Jersey, that hasn’t been used by kids in months is a community of tents where Riverside Medical Group is still testing about 150 people every day for the coronavirus.
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“In the beginning, we weren’t actually testing as many people, we were just testing very sick people, high risk people,” Dr. Gaurang Brahmbhatt told CBS2’s Jessica Layton. “And now that the country is reopening, the city is reopening, we are testing everybody.”
Brahmbhatt says even with fewer infections, knowing your COVID status is critically important for those going back to work and anyone who has been to a packed protest.
“I think the next two to three days, the majority of the patients we’re testing are all going to be people who were attending any one of protests in the area,” Brahmbhatt said.
It’s estimated 10,000 people attended a demonstration in Hoboken on Friday.
Mayor Ravi Bhalla says testing is available to anyone in his city.
“We’ve made so much progress in bringing the numbers down that it is critical to wear a face mask, it is critical to socially distance, it is critical to wash your hands,” he said.
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“We are not out of the woods yet,” said Dr. Jake Deutsch with CURE Urgent Care.
He says people whose jobs put them at risk should consider being tested once a month and feels antibody testing right now is just as important because it sheds light on how many were really infected.
“The accuracy of identifying patients just based on clinical symptoms is only about 50%,” he said. “If 30% of the population has no symptoms, how are we going to know if the virus spread is being controlled?”
That’s one reason doctors say the testing site in Hoboken will be open for several more months, at least through what’s expected to be a hard-hitting second wave of the virus.